LUSAKA, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- For many young women about to get married, traditional counseling, whose teachings many Zambian societies consider the cornerstone of marriage, is at the top of their priority list.
Therefore, one lacking in knowledge of such teachings is considered to be ill-prepared for marriage, as they are likely to encounter challenging experiences once married.
It is for this reason that the services of traditional marriage counselors, locally known as Bana Chimbusa or Alangizi have become popular across all sections of the Zambian society.
These counselors offer, at a fee, traditionally inclined premarital counsel to would-be brides and also married women in need of nuptial refresher sessions.
Their charges range from 1,000 to 2,000 Zambia kwacha (about 95 US dollars) for a full course that runs from one to two weeks. Singing and the playing of traditional drums characterize the counseling sessions.
"I think these women (counselors) are doing a great job in terms of helping to preserve not only marriages but also our traditions and culture," said Maureen Pendwe, a homemaker and ardent supporter of traditional marriage counseling.
Pendwe said that with traditional counseling services, one is assured of satisfactory results because counselors subject trainees to practical assessments deemed very useful in ensuring happy marriages.
Soon to be bride Ainess Banda, a medical practitioner based in Chipata town, Eastern Province of Zambia, revealed that the sessions have helped her learn more about family life as well as how to manage relations effectively.
"The sessions are worth it. The only challenge right now is the commercialization of the services," Banda said, explaining that high charges have excluded some people from seeking the service.
Beatrice Bwalya, a traditional marriage counselor said many urban dwellers have realized the important role traditional marriage counseling plays in maintaining harmony in society through upholding traditions and cultural values.
Bwalya, who is based in Zambia's capital Lusaka, however, was quick to mention that genuine traditional counselors are well-known and good standing members of local communities with a good track record.
She agrees that ideally, counseling services from the traditional perspective are supposed to be free of charge. However, one may decide to give a token appreciation, which should not necessarily be in monetary form.
In cosmopolitan cities like Lusaka, however, urbanization has given rise to the commercialization of traditional marriage counseling and other traditional counseling services. Enditem